Success of women in combat will hinge on fairness, fitness
The historic decision to lift the ban on women in combat roles is not the end of their battle for opportunity — it is the beginning.
Now the effort shifts from granting equality to maintaining fairness as the Army executes an aggressive plan to uphold — and perhaps raise — individual standards without excluding women by default.
Women have fought with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Pentagon has, for the past year, formulated its plan to break down the barriers to allow them in direct combat roles, a plan that carries the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The goal now is to “eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers” and fill the entire fighting force with warriors qualified by capability, not gender, said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Founder of humor site focuses on suicide prevention
The Army reported a record-high 182 suspected active-duty suicides for 2012. Those numbers don’t include the 126 suspected and 97 confirmed Reserve and National Guard suicides as of mid-December.
There could have been more if not for a military humor website called www.asmdss.com, short for Awesome S— My Drill Sergeant Said. Its founder is taking his social media-driven intervention process and turning it into Battle in Distress Inc., a nonprofit devoted to helping service members in crisis through a network of volunteers.
PR firm uses sexy texts in attempt to exonerate 1-star
In the eight months surrounding the time prosecutors claim Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair forced a female captain to perform oral sex on him, the couple carried out their affair while trading hundreds of text messages, many of them sexually explicit.
“Is my sexy baby sleeping?” wrote Sinclair, now accused of sexual misconduct with four other subordinates.
“Your panda is in main missing pappa panda sexy pants,” she replies, as part of the Sept. 4, 2011, exchange.
Defense attorneys see their blend of romantic and angry text messages as proof that Sinclair’s accuser was a willing participant in their sexual activity who became vindictive when Sinclair grew distant. But prosecutors argue that, in spite of the consensual nature of the affair, there were two instances of sodomy that were nonconsensual.